Friday, August 05, 2011
I've alluded to the difficulty my mom has been going through a few times and now its time to tell the tale, in brief at least.
Last spring she started having some pain in her legs. At first she thought it was arthritis but it became progressively worse until she could barely stand it. My Mom is old style, she's tough and stoic and so when we would find her in tears from the pain she was in we knew it had to be very bad.
Visits to the doctor found nothing. Specialist after specialist, test after test, all with no story to tell, no cause unmasked. The pain continued and she got weaker and weaker. She began to lose weight and her mobility was reduced and we feared the worse. By August she could not walk and she was in the hospital.
August, September, October, November. Dad visited each day, rain, shine, snow. They tested for everything and found nothing. It wasn't cancer, thank God. And when whatever it was ran its course it got no worse. It did leave Mom in a wheelchair and in some pain, although the pain can be controlled fairly well. I took a Greyhound bus up to Sudbury and Dad and I cleaned and prepped and in December she came home. Finally.
My folks are the most positive people around but they were tested sorely here. Bowed, bent, not broken, they vowed to carry on as best they can. They were slowing down in any case (Dad will be eighty next year, Mom is just a year behind) but now, well now there was a challenge. Because Mom, more than anything, wanted to get back up to camp.
They've been up there very summer since 1968. Every year as long as they could get up there they would. Weekends, holidays, from the time the ice broke up until the snow was about to fly. And sometimes in the dead of winter. And on top of everything there be monsters.
Here's the thing. Its boat access. Its isolated. We're not talking a cottage on a street in the Muskokas where they are packed in cheek to cheek or a modern joint you can drive up to. We're talking a boat ride across a lake from one old worn grey dock to another, a log cabin without electricity or running water or a flush toilet. We're talking an outhouse. This is the real deal. We're not talking sidewalks or pavement, there's not an ounce of that to be found.
Its not really where you would recommend a couple of near eighty year olds, one in a wheelchair, set up shop for a lengthy period of time.
This picture above is of my folks hanging out at the annual camp picnic. They made it.
They had help. My Dad's best friend Otto passed away a number of years ago and its his son who now owns the camp next door. He and his boys and Dad built a ramp from dock to the sleepcamp deck. They cleared and levelled the path through the woods to their camp so that Mom could, with help, take her scooter through the forest to their place for dinner and beers and whatever is going on that day.
They went up the day before we did and Mick lifted my Mom into his boat nice and easy and across the lake she went and when I called that night to see how things were Mick said 'well she's sitting on the deck right now, looking out on the lake, having a beer. She's pretty happy'
Two nights later we had dinner on the porch, two close families, and looked out on the lake in the gathering gloom. Dad kept saying that we never thought she'd make it back.
But they did. Goes to show you what a couple of strong hearts can accomplish, with some help of course.
Posted by Black Dog at 1:45 PM